Tuesday, 13 November 2001
Dáil Eireann Debate
140. Mr. Deasy asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform if he has given consideration to the establishment of local Garda boards within each Garda division comprising senior members of the Garda, members of the Judiciary and legal profession and also elected representatives to discuss policing matters and encourage a greater community participation in the area of law and order; his views on whether such boards should incorporate local councillors and all Dáil Deputies and Senators in the relevant area. [27729/01]
Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform (Mr. O'Donoghue): I am informed by the Garda authorities that the Garda Síochána is at present actively involved in a new partnership involving local communities called the Community Policing Forum. This model was decided upon, having considered various different models involving community partnership. It is at present being piloted in the Kevin Street district of the Dublin metropolitan area. The objectives of the Community Policing Forum are: to create dialogue between the Garda Síochána and the local community; to seek the views and opinions of the local community with respect to their concerns on crime and policing; to hold formal meetings of the forum; to provide solutions through dialogue and action to concerns raised within an agreed time frame; and to provide formal feedback through ongoing meetings of the forum. The following agencies are involved in the participation the Garda Síochána, local community, public representatives and local authority (Dublin Corporation). Health board representatives will also be invited to attend, as required.
I am further informed that an independent evaluation is being conducted of the Community Policing Forum. Following an examination of the evaluation report, consideration will be given to replicating this model in other areas should the need be identified.
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